How big are these books, anyway?

Quite big, actually. Here’s a graph:

graph showing word count

And The Winner Is is just topping Carstairs of Arabia by a few thousand words, coming in at 320.000 words. That’s rounded down to the nearest thousand, to exclude the disclaimer, table of contents, etc. An average page holds about 580 words. It’s difficult to calculate an average reading speed, because most people are in fact very poor readers. However, as my audience consists primarily of well-educated Westerners, 250 words per minute is a reasonable assumption. That’s 1280 minutes for the longest book, or 21 hours of non-stop reading. Most of my books come in at about 2/3rds, so that’s 14-15 hours of entertainment from, say, This Is Your Carstairs Speaking. For less than a movie ticket.

Aren’t numbers fun? Some other books and their word count:

The Maltese Falcon: 67.000 words.
The Catcher in the Rye: 73.000 words.
The Da Vinci Code: 170.000 words.
War and Peace: 587.000 words.

So now we have an answer to the question: ‘Why aren’t these in print?’ Because they’re too large! They are very expensive to print and ship. So either Amazon handles sales, printing and shipping and I get about 3-4 dollars for a fifteen to twenty dollar book, or I sell you an eBook (includes a PDF version) and if you like you can go to your local print shop. At 20 cents per double-sided standard A4 or Letter size page , and perhaps with a binder of sorts, you should expect to pay anywhere between 20 and 40 Euro.

So let’s not do that. Instead, just buy an eBook. Here’s what to do with it if you are new to eBooks.